Comedian Jerrod Carmichael came out earlier this year in his HBO comedy special and with his newfound freedom, he’s not holding back.
While most comedians have justified Dave Chappelle’s nonstop attacks on the transgender community as just “jokes,” Carmichael decided to throw some white hot truth – that isn’t so funny – into the conversation.
“At many points, I thought I’d rather die than confront the truth of that, to actually say it to people,” Carmichael told the live audience during his special. “Because I know it changes some people’s perceptions of me. I can’t control that.”
Now that he’s said it, he’s not shutting up.
Chappelle has drawn controversy for his anti-transgender comments. He first drew controversy in 2019 for his Netflix special Sticks and Stones which featured anti-LGBTQ wisecracks. Since then, Chappelle has gone on to make anti-trans jokes during his 2021 Netflix special The Closer and during a Netflix is a Joke event where he was tackled onstage by a young man who said he was “triggered” by Chappelle’s routine. After being attacked, Chappelle declared that the assailant was a trans man; he is not.
Chappelle has made jokes about trans women and jokes about supporting anti-gay comments made by rapper DaBaby and author J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans remarks. Chappelle has received criticism from groups such as GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition for his transphobic jokes.
The comedian has complained that he’s a victim of “cancel culture” as he continues to make millions of dollars doing comedy specials and sold-out shows.
“Look, I get it. Everybody’s got to create a bogeyman to sell tickets. But it’s not true,” Carmichael told GQ. “Who’s getting canceled for what they’ve said? What does that mean, that people are mad on Twitter? Everybody’s fine. These grown men are fine. I think, a lot of times, people who offer nothing truthful or meaningful about themselves then complain about society at large and create this boogeyman.”
“It’s like, listen, that’s the most urgent thing in your life? God bless you. I’m tired of hearing it. Chappelle, do you know what comes up when you Google your name, bro? That’s the legacy? Your legacy is a bunch of opinions on trans shit? It’s an odd hill to die on,” he said.
“And it’s like, hey, bro. Who the fuck are you? Who do you fuck? What do you like to do? Childish jokes aside, who the fuck are you? It’s just kind of played. But he’s choosing to die on the hill. So, alright, let him.”